You don’t have to reach for a prescription pill every time you get constipated. There are natural remedies, some that can be found right in your kitchen and garden that will do a great job and will not leave any chemical effects behind.

One thing that you must always remember when you reach for a prescription pill when you are constipated is that fine, it will take the constipation away, but it will, with time mess up the mechanics of your natural excretion. Pills basically force your colon into action; they make what couldn’t move, move by force. The way natural excretion works is that once your body feels ready to go for a number 2, it sends signals to your brain. Your brain will in turn send signals to your colon and then the muscular contractions will begin that will send you to the loo. A pill bypasses this process somehow, and it only gets your colon muscles moving. Eventually, your body will “forget” how to naturally function without a pill and you might find yourself more constipated that ever before if you miss that pill.

On the other hand, most natural laxatives do not bypass the process – they go through the whole of it. They will send a message to your brain that its time to go, and in turn, your brain will send a message to your colon; that way all the active parts of your excretion process remain active.

Some Natural Constipation Remedies?

They are many and will vary from country to country and culture to culture, but fortunately most of them revolve around food and herbs.

  1. Water – Many people in this world do not drink nearly as much water as the body needs for the digestive process to take care of itself. There is a lot of emphasis given to water for the skin, but enough to how important it is for digestion. If you understand constipation, it usually happens (in most cases) because the resultant matter, after food is processed is too hard to push out. Taking in lots of water through out the day will help ease the problem. Don’t wait to get constipated and then reach for water – it will make you feel full and uncomfortable. Take water as a regular part of your lifestyle and you’ll realize that constipation will go away by itself, unless there are other underlying issues.
  2. Roughage/fibre – This comes in many forms and can be found anywhere in the world. A meal of plain vegetables, kales or spinach are great. So is cabbage. They act as binding factors, at the same time allowing your stool not to lose too much water in the process. Sources of roughage are endless – grains, whole fruit (that you can eat with the rind on), whole, unprocessed wheat – really inexhaustible. If you eat this once or twice a day, even 3 times a week, you will find that you’re rarely constipated
  3. Aloe Vera – As far as herbs go, this one is an excellent bowel mover. The only problem is that it’s usually very bitter. There are 2 ways around this: You can put the leaves on slow simmer over-night and by morning, both the leaves and the resultant juice will have taken on a pinkish hue that will not be so better. The other way is to peel the aloe leaves themselves and boil them – you’ll get a kind of gel that will not be bitter at all. Aloe juice will move your bowels wonderfully within hours. And it leaves you with side benefits too – great skin, hair and nails, a sense of more energy and well-being.
  4. Beetroot, which is common in many places, is also good when eaten raw. It will get your bowels on the move in a few hours. It may – most likely will – stain both your urine and your stool, abut that’s a small price to pay. The secret with beetroot is to make it a part of your diet if you are regularly constipated. There are great salad recipes for raw beetroot; one of the easiest being just slices of beetroot and tomatoes with a dash of olive oil and black pepper. If you make it a habit to eat this, you may never experience constipation again.
  5. Neem leaves or the bark of a neem tree– those who know them and have used them swear by them. In Africa and Asia, they are trusted to cure a myriad of ailments, ranging from the very serious to everyday complications. Everything has a price though – they come really bitter. The secret is to boil either leaves or bark and then add a teaspoonful or 2 into your herbal tea or soup. Neem has no known side effects so you can add as much as you feel you can stand the bitterness. The best time is before bed – it’s almost a guarantee that if it was normal constipation, your first destination in the morning will be your toilet, and you’ll come out with a happy face.
  6. Stinging Nettle – This, surprisingly, grows all around the world and so a bit of search should surface a few leaves of it, or even some crushed powder. It is not bitter – it actually tastes like herbal tea. If you get the leaves, handle them in gloves – they sting. But once you have them in a pot, covered in water and the fire going, the sting disappears almost immediately. Nettle leaves, other than just constipation relief, have been known to give people naturally great heath for years. If you have some near you, you don’t even need to wait for a bout of constipation to come around – go for it and take a huge mug of it each day. You’ll notice infrequent illness and a general feeling of health and energy all day long.

There you are! No need to face the pharmacist any more. Go about treating constipation your own way. The only disclaimer here is that all the above don’t seem to work, a trip to your doctor is advisable – there may be something else the problem.

References
www.nativeremedies.com, Meital James – www.ezinearticles.com, www.myhomeremedies.com, Linnea Lundgren
and Betsy Hornick – http://health.howstuffworks.com

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Constipation medication is often sold over the counter and is one of those drugs that are easy to get your hands on, but did you know that these medications can harm you?

Constipation medications, also called laxatives, work to force the body to expel waste. Different drugs are designed to work in different ways; some make the waste softer by taking water from other parts of your body and dumping it in the colon; others will expand the waste, so that it’s so much that the body is forced to expel it. Some will even relax the necessary muscles for a while so that you can pass stool.

You will get the relief that you’re after for your constipation, but you are also harming your body each time you take constipation medications. Let’s have a look at some of the dangers of taking laxatives:

  1. The first and foremost danger is that you could mask another illness by using laxatives. If you are constantly constipated, you need to find out why so that you can address the problem and not the symptoms. You may have another health problem that’s causing you constipation. Taking laxatives will give you relief, so you will likely not be keen to know what the root cause of your constipation is.
  2. Sometimes, you can get reactions like dizziness, nausea, bloating, stomach cramps, and more. This will happen especially with first time users or users who change from one laxative to another.
  3. There is the danger of addiction. Naturally, when you have waste that needs to be expelled from the body, your brain sends messages to the necessary muscles to constrict and release the waste. If you use laxatives constantly, your body will understand that it can only expel waste when you take a pill.
  4. There are constipation medications that work by pooling moisture from the rest of your gut to your colon so that waste can get soft and be expelled. There are 2 dangers with this kind of laxative; you can get dehydrated and you can get diarrhoea if too much water is put into the stool.
  5. Some laxatives can cause mineral and vitamin depletion in your body. Even natural laxatives sometimes do this, so that you will have low levels of vitamins A, D, K and E and magnesium.
  6. Constipation medication that causes stool mass to increase can cause muscular damage in the long run.
  7. Some constipation medication has been reported to cause kidney stones and kidney failure. This may be due to the fact that it robs the kidneys of the water required for processing waste.
  8. When under medication, the use of laxatives can cause reactions. If you are under other medications, you should consult your doctor before you take any kind of laxative, even those that you can purchase over the counter.

Constipation happens to all of us once in a while, but laxative use is definitely not a good solution. If you must use anything for relief, try natural laxatives. Eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables. Drink lots of water. Check on the internet for the best kinds of roughage to treat constipation and add them to your diet. Constipation medication can only cause dependency in the long run.

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